Incorporating a Lego design

A mash-up model can be enabled by populating the landscape with a set of tools and resources that are NGDLE-conformant, explains the report. “This would result in a toolbox of applications, content, and platforms that could be assembled in custom ways.”

Campus tech specialists say a Lego approach could work because of a design specification that ensures the pieces will interlock, while enabling a wide variety of component parts.

The Lego approach, they explain, can enable communities to focus on realizing specific aspects of the NGDLE functionality, interconnected into a single structure. It can also address the key needs for personalization by enabling this function at a variety of levels, from the individual to the institutional.

The report lists a few vendors and solutions currently providing this NGDLE functionality, including LoudCloud.

“In general, LoudCloud, since our inception, has built with the ‘Lego,’ or what we call modular design, in mind. We have always been of the philosophy that ‘one size does not fit all’ and that applies both at the learner and institutional level,” said Greg Harp, LoudCloud’s Chief Marketing Officer to eCampus News.

Harp explained that this philosophy applies to LoudCloud’s modules being self-contained with the ability to move those containers into other platforms or into proprietary systems of institutions.

“Each of our LMS modules, for instance the Discussion Forum or our Quiz engine can be independently integrated with other platforms. In higher-ed space, our LoudSight Analytics product has now been pulled from our system and integrates with systems like Canvas and Moodle. Our Loudbooks collaborative e-reader has now been integrated with Canvas, Blackboard and Moodle. We are able to integrate our CBE platform with our products as well,” noted Harp. “We offer RESTful services and API’s for our different modules to easily integrate with other systems. I believe this ability to be both modular and self-contained not only sets us apart in the industry, but as this report indicates, put us in line with the future of educational technology.”

“For the NGDLE to succeed as we describe here, a similar set of specifications and services will need to be defined that constitute the conformance needed to make the Lego approach work,” say the report’s authors.

For the report’s recommendations on creating an NGDLE-conformant standard or specification, vendors and solutions currently providing NGDLE functionality, as well as what new NGDLE components for the future may entail (smart tools, portfolios, dual enrollment, authoring tools, etc.), read the full report here.